There is no rebellion against death, no bitterness over its sting, no preoccupation with the afterlife. In striking contrast to its two great neighboring civilizations, Egypt with its intense preoccupation with the afterlife and Babylonia with the epic of Gilgamesh, who wanders in search of immortal life, the story of the descent of Ishtar, and the legend of Nergal and Ereshkigal, the Bible is reticent in speaking about these issues. The Hebrew Bible calls for concern for the problem of living rather than the problem of dying.

Its central concern is not, as in the Gilgamesh epic, how to escape death but, rather, how to sanctify life.

Abraham Joshua Heschel, Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity by Abraham Joshua Heschel, Susannah Heschel, editor